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Trail #9 - Stórurð from Vatnsskarð

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 5.0 (1)

A hike through the alpine region to valleys covered with boulders the size of buildings and a turquoise moraine lake.


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Map Key

4.5

Miles

7.2

KM

Point to Point

2,081' 634 m

High

1,255' 383 m

Low

1,061' 323 m

Up

948' 289 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views

Need to Know

There's free parking at the top of Vatnsskarð and the trail starts going up the mountain to the south of you. Restrooms are at the viewing point down the hill to the west. There's not much water at the start of the hike, but later on there's quite a bit. The running water in this area is all safe to drink. The trail is marked all the way through with yellow wooden trail markers.

Description

This trail, starting from Vatnsskarð mountain pass on Road 94 to Borgarfjörður eystri, takes you through the high mountains of the Borgarfjörður eystri Recreation Area and leads you to the incredible natural pearl of Stórurð. This is a valley carved by an ice age glacier which bore down from the high mountain Mt. Dyrfjöll boulders, ranging from the size of cars to the size of apartment blocks. In the middle of the valley is a flat stretch of grass and a beautiful hidden moraine lake which gleams turquoise in the sun.

Starting at the trailhead, there is a bit of steep elevation gain at the start as you climb to the top of Mt. Geldingafell. Up at the summit, there are amazing panoramic views of the Njarðvík valley and its western rhyolite mountain tops, the high peaks of Mt. Dyrfjöll, and the endless expanse of the Fljótsdalur river valley. On exceptionally clear days, one can even spot the high peaks of Mt. Snæfell and Mt. Herðubreið!

Afterwards, there is a relatively good trail along the ridge with gentle climbs and descents. The ground is very rocky and loose in places, requiring careful traversing. As you get close to the moraine valley, you'll spot the incredible Door of Mt. Dyrfjöll, a spectacular, jagged gap in the mountain where material was removed by the ice age glaciers.

About 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) in, there's a bit of a turn to the right to descend down into the valley proper. When the descent is over, there is a small river crossing and then you're on the flat grassy field, which you follow in between the rocks to get to the lake.

Flora & Fauna

Mostly you'll encounter sheep, but there is a possibility of catching glimpses of Golden Plover. Otherwise it's mostly alpine grasses.

Shared By:

Árni Magnusson

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1

in Viknaslodir

#2138

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  5.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#1

in Viknaslodir

#3

in Iceland

#2,138

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417 Since Jul 18, 2019
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